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List of United States Marine Corps four-star generals

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flag of a Marine Corps four-star general
Flag of a
Marine Corps four-star general

This is a complete list of four-star generals in the United States Marine Corps. The rank of general (or full general, or four-star general) is the highest rank in the Marine Corps. It ranks above lieutenant general (three-star general).

There have been 72 four-star generals in the history of the United States Marine Corps. Of these, 54 achieved that rank while on active duty, 17 were promoted upon retirement in recognition of combat citations ("tombstone promotions", 1942–1959), and one was promoted posthumously. Generals entered the Marine Corps via several paths: 29 via Officer Candidates School (OCS), 24 via Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) at a civilian university, 10 via the United States Naval Academy (USNA), 3 via Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university, and 6 via ROTC at a senior military college.

List of generals

Entries in the following list of four-star generals are indexed by the numerical order in which each officer was promoted to that rank while on active duty, or by an asterisk (*) if the officer did not serve in that rank while on active duty. Each entry lists the general's name, date of rank,[1] active-duty positions held while serving at four-star rank,[2] number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank (Yrs),[3] year commissioned and source of commission,[4] number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank (YC),[5] and other biographical notes.[6]

The list is sortable by last name, date of rank, number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank, year commissioned, and number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank.

# Name Photo Date of rank[1] Position Yrs[3] Commission[4] YC[5] Notes
1 Alexander A. Vandegrift
AAVandegrift.jpg
21 Mar 1945   2 1909 (OCS) 36 (1887–1973) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1942.
* Roy S. Geiger
Roy Geiger.jpg
23 Jan 1947  
  • (posthumous)
0 1909 (OCS) 38 (1885–1947) [7]
2 Clifton B. Cates
Clifton B. Cates.jpg
01 Jan 1948  
  • Commandant, 1948–1951.
4 1917 (OCS) 31 (1893–1970) [8]
3 Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr.
Lemuel Cornick Shepherd mlajsi.jpg
01 Jan 1952   7 1917 (VMI) 35 (1896–1990) [9]
4 Randolph M. Pate
GenRMPate USMC.jpg
01 Jan 1956  
  • Commandant, 1956–1959.
4 1921 (VMI) 35 (1898–1961)
5 David M. Shoup
GenDMShoup USMC.jpg
01 Jan 1960  
  • Commandant, 1960–1963.
4 1926 (ROTC) 34 (1904–1983) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1943.
6 Wallace M. Greene Jr.
Wallace M. Greene.jpg
01 Jan 1964  
  • Commandant, 1964–1967.
4 1930 (USNA) 34 (1907–2003)
7 Leonard F. Chapman, Jr.
Leonard F. Chapman.jpg
01 Jan 1968  
  • Commandant, 1968–1971.
4 1935 (NROTC) 33 (1913–2000) U.S. Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, 1973–1977.
8 Lewis W. Walt
Lewis William Walt.jpg
02 Jun 1969   2 1936 (ROTC) 33 (1913–1989)
9 Raymond G. Davis
Raymond G. Davis.jpg
12 Mar 1971  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1971–1972.
1 1938 (ROTC) 33 (1915–2003) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1950.
10 Keith B. McCutcheon
Keith B. McCutcheon.jpg
01 Jul 1971  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1971.
0 1937 (ROTC) 34 (1915–1971) [10]
11 Robert E. Cushman Jr.
Robert E. Cushman.jpg
01 Jan 1972  
  • Commandant, 1972–1975.
4 1935 (USNA) 37 (1914–1985) Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, 1969–1971.
12 Earl E. Anderson
Earl Edward Anderson.jpg
31 Mar 1972  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1972–1975.
3 1940 (NROTC) 32 (1919–2015)
13 Louis H. Wilson Jr.
GEN Wilson, Louis Hugh Jr..jpg
01 Jul 1975  
  • Commandant, 1975–1979.
4 1941 (OCS) 34 (1920–2005) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1944.
14 Samuel Jaskilka
GEN Samuel Jaskilka.jpg
04 Mar 1976  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1975–1978.
3 1942 (OCS) 34 (1919–2012)
15 Robert H. Barrow
Gen Robert H. Barrow.JPG
01 Jul 1978  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1978–1979.
  • Commandant, 1979–1983.
5 1942 (OCS) 36 (1922–2008)
16 Kenneth McLennan
McLennan Kenneth GeneralUSMC.jpg
02 Jul 1979  
  • Assistant Commandant & Chief of Staff, 1979–1981.
3 1945 (OCS) 34 (1925–2005)
17 Paul X. Kelley
GEN Kelley, Paul X.jpg
01 Jul 1981  
  • Assistant Commandant & Chief of Staff, 1981–1983.
  • Commandant, 1983–1987.
6 1950 (NROTC) 31 (1928–2019)
18 John K. Davis
General John K. Davis.jpg
01 Jul 1983  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1983–1986.
3 1950 (NROTC) 33 (1927–2019)
19 George B. Crist
General George Crist, official military photo, 1985.JPEG
22 Nov 1985   3 1952 (NROTC) 33 (1931–       )
20 Thomas R. Morgan
Morgan ThomasR.jpg
01 Jun 1986  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1986–1988.
2 1952 (NROTC) 34 (1930–       )
21 Alfred M. Gray Jr.
Alfred Gray, official military photo color.JPEG
01 Jul 1987  
  • Commandant, 1987–1991.
4 1952 (OCS) 35 (1928–       )
22 Joseph J. Went
Joseph J. Went.jpg
01 Jul 1988  
  • Assistant Commandant & Chief of Staff, 1988–1990.
2 1952 (NROTC) 36 (1930–       )
23 John R. Dailey
Dailey JR.jpg
01 Aug 1990  
  • Assistant Commandant & Chief of Staff, 1990–1992.
3 1956 (NROTC) 34 (1934–       ) Associate Deputy Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1992–1999; Director, National Air and Space Museum, 2000–present.
24 Carl E. Mundy, Jr.
GEN Carl E. Mundy, Jr.JPG
01 Jul 1991  
  • Commandant, 1991–1995.
4 1957 (NROTC) 34 (1935–2014) President, United Service Organizations, 1996–2000.
25 Joseph P. Hoar
Joseph Hoar official military photo.jpg
01 Sep 1991  
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command, 1991–1994.
3 1957 (NROTC) 34 (1934–       )
26 Walter E. Boomer
Walter E. Boomer.jpg
01 Sep 1992  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1992–1994.
2 1960 (NROTC) 32 (1938–       )
27 Richard D. Hearney
Hearney RD.jpg
15 Jul 1994  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1994–1996.
2 1962 (OCS) 32 (1939–       )
28 John J. Sheehan
Sheehan JohnJ USMC.jpg
1994   3 1962 (NROTC) 32 (1940–       )
29 Charles C. Krulak
Charles C. Krulak.jpg
29 Jun 1995  
  • Commandant, 1995–1999.
4 1964 (USNA) 31 (1942–       )
30 Richard I. Neal
Richard I Neal.jpg
19 Sep 1996  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1996–1998.
2 1965 (NROTC) 31 (1942–       )
31 Anthony C. Zinni
Anthony Zinni.jpg
08 Aug 1997  
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command, 1997–2000.
3 1965 (NROTC) 32 (1943–       ) U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East, 2002–2003.
32 Charles E. Wilhelm
Charles E. Wilhelm.jpg
25 Sep 1997   3 1964 (NROTC) 33 (1941–       )
33 Terrence R. Dake
Dake TR.jpg
05 Sep 1998  
  • Assistant Commandant, 1998–2000.
2 1966 (OCS) 32 (1944–       )
34 James L. Jones
James L. Jones 2.jpg
30 Jun 1999   7 1967 (NROTC) 32 (1943–       ) National Security Advisor, 2009–2010.
35 Peter Pace
Peter Pace official portrait.jpg
08 Sep 2000   7 1967 (USNA) 33 (1945–       ) Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2008.
36 Carlton W. Fulford, Jr.
Carlton W Fulford Jr.jpg
01 Oct 2000  
  • Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command, 2000–2002.
2 1966 (USNA) 34 (1944–       )
37 Michael J. Williams
Michael J. Williams.jpg
01 Nov 2000  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2000–2002.
2 1967 (USNA) 33 (1943–       )
38 William L. Nyland
William L. Nyland.jpg
04 Sep 2002  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2002–2005.
3 1968 (NROTC) 34 (1946–       )
39 Michael W. Hagee
Michael W. Hagee.jpg
14 Jan 2003  
  • Commandant, 2003–2006.
3 1968 (USNA) 35 (1944–       )
40 James E. Cartwright
GEN Cartwright VJCS.jpg
01 Sep 2004   7 1971 (NROTC) 33 (1949–       )
41 Robert Magnus
Robert Magnus.jpg
01 Nov 2005  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2005–2008.
3 1969 (NROTC) 36 (1947–       )
42 James T. Conway
James T. Conway, official military photo portrait, 2006.jpg
13 Nov 2006  
  • Commandant, 2006–2010.
4 1970 (OCS) 36 (1947–       )
43 James N. Mattis
Mattis Centcom 2009.jpg
09 Nov 2007   6 1972 (ROTC) 35 (1950–       ) U.S. Secretary of Defense, 2017–2018.
44 James F. Amos
General James F. Amos.jpg
02 Jul 2008  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2008–2010.
  • Commandant, 2010–2014.
6 1970 (NROTC) 38 (1946–       ) First naval aviator to become commandant.
45 Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.
Dunford CJCS.JPG
23 Oct 2010   9 1977 (OCS) 33 (1955–       )
46 John R. Allen
General John R. Allen.jpg
18 Jul 2011  
  • Commander, International Security Assistance Force & Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan, 2011–2013.
2 1976 (USNA) 35 (1953–       )
47 John F. Kelly
John F. Kelly, 2012.jpg
19 Nov 2012  
  • Commander, U.S. Southern Command, 2012–2016.
3 1976 (OCS) 36 (1950–       ) U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, 2017; White House Chief of Staff, 2017–2019.
48 John M. Paxton, Jr.
Paxton 2013 1.jpg
15 Dec 2012  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2012–2016.
4 1974 (OCS) 38 (1951–       )
49 Robert B. Neller
Neller 2015 2.jpg
24 Sep 2015  
  • Commandant, 2015–2019.
4 1975 (OCS) 40 (1953–       )
50 Thomas D. Waldhauser
Waldhauser Africom 2.jpg
18 Jul 2016   3 1976 (OCS) 40 (1953–       )
51 Glenn M. Walters
ACMC Walters.jpg
02 Aug 2016  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2016–2018.
2 1979 (Citadel) 37 (1957–       )
52 Gary L. Thomas
ACMC 2018 HiRes.jpg
04 Oct 2018  
  • Assistant Commandant, 2018–present.
2 1984 (NROTC) 34 (1962–       )
53 Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr.
General Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr (USCENTCOM).jpg
28 Mar 2019  
  • Commander, U.S. Central Command, 2019–present.
1 1979 (Citadel) 40 (1957–       )
54 David H. Berger
Gen. David H. Berger.jpg
11 Jul 2019  
  • Commandant, 2019–present.
1 1981 (NROTC) 38 (1959–       )

Tombstone generals

The Act of Congress of March 4, 1925, allowed officers in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard to be promoted one grade upon retirement if they had been specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat. Combat citation promotions were colloquially known as "tombstone promotions" because they conferred all the perks and prestige of the higher rank including the loftier title on their tombstones but no additional retirement pay. The Act of Congress of February 23, 1942, enabled tombstone promotions to three- and four-star grades. Tombstone promotions were subsequently restricted to citations issued before January 1, 1947, and finally eliminated altogether effective November 1, 1959. The practice was terminated in an effort to encourage senior officer retirements prior to the effective date of the change to relieve an overstrength in the senior ranks.

Any general who actually served in a grade while on active duty receives precedence on the retirement list over any tombstone general holding the same retired grade. Tombstone generals rank among each other according to the dates of their highest active duty grade.

The following list of tombstone generals is sortable by last name, date of rank as lieutenant general, date retired, and year commissioned.

Name Photo Date of rank (LGEN) Date retired Commission [4] Notes
1 Thomas Holcomb
Gen Thomas Holcomb.jpg
20 Jan 1942   Jan 1944   1900 (OCS) (1879–1965) U.S. Minister to South Africa, 1944–1948.
2 Holland M. Smith
Holland Smith.jpg
28 Feb 1944   May 1946   1905 (OCS) (1882–1967)
3 Harry Schmidt
Harry Schmidt.jpg
01 Mar 1946   Jul 1948   1909 (OCS) (1886–1968)
4 Allen H. Turnage
Allen H. Turnage.jpg
04 Oct 1946   Jan 1948   1913 (OCS) (1891–1971)
5 LeRoy P. Hunt
Leroy p. hunt.jpg
01 Jul 1949   Jul 1951   1917 (OCS) (1892–1968)
6 Franklin A. Hart
Hart FA.jpg
22 Feb 1951   Aug 1952   1917 (OCS) (1894–1967)
7 Graves B. Erskine
ErskineGB Gen USMC.jpg
02 Jul 1951   Jul 1953   1917 (OCS) (1897–1973) Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, 1953–1961.
8 Gerald C. Thomas
Gerald C. Thomas.jpg
08 Mar 1952   Jan 1956   1917 (OCS) (1894–1984)
9 Oliver P. Smith
Oliver P. Smith.jpg
23 Jul 1953   Sep 1955   1917 (OCS) (1893–1977)
10 William O. Brice
Brice WO.jpg
28 Aug 1953   1956   1921 (Citadel) (1898–1972)
11 Christian F. Schilt
Schilt CF USMC.jpg
01 Aug 1955   Apr 1957   1919 (OCS) (1895–1987) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1928.
12 Alfred H. Noble
Noble AH.jpg
01 Aug 1955   Nov 1956   1917 (OCS) (1894–1983)
13 Vernon E. Megee
Vernon Megee.jpg
01 Jan 1956   Nov 1959   1922 (OCS) (1900–1992)
14 Edwin A. Pollock
Edwin A Pollock.jpg
01 Jan 1956   Nov 1959   1921 (Citadel) (1899–1982)
15 Merrill B. Twining
Merrill B Twining.jpg
12 Sep 1956   Oct 1959   1923 (USNA) (1902–1996) Brother of Air Force General Nathan F. Twining.
16 Ray A. Robinson
Robinson RA.jpg
01 Nov 1956   Nov 1957   1917 (OCS) (1896–1976)
17 Robert E. Hogaboom
Robert E. Hogaboom.jpg
01 Dec 1957   Oct 1959   1925 (USNA) (1902–1993)

Timeline

By the Act of March 21, 1945, Congress permitted the President to appoint the Commandant of the Marine Corps to the grade of general. Alexander Vandegrift, then Commandant, was promoted from lieutenant general to general on April 4, 1945, to rank from March 21 of that year. He thus became the first Marine to serve in the grade of general. The Office of the Commandant was permanently fixed at the grade of four-star general under authority of the Act of August 7, 1947. All Commandants since that date have been entitled by law to serve in the grade of general and, in accordance with the provisions of 10 U.S.C. § 5201, to retire in that grade.

In April 1969, the Senate passed and sent a bill to the White House that makes the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps a four-star general when the active duty strength of the Marine Corps exceeds 200,000. On May 5, 1969, President Richard Nixon signed the bill, and Lieutenant General Lewis William Walt was promoted to that rank on June 2, 1969, thus becoming the first Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps to attain four-star rank. Legislation allowing the Assistant Commandant to wear the four-star insignia regardless of the strength of the Marine Corps was approved by President Gerald Ford on March 4, 1976.

On November 22, 1985, General George B. Crist was promoted to four-star rank and on November 27, he assumed the position of Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. His appointment marked the first time a Marine headed a unified command and the first time the Corps had three four-star generals on active duty at the same time. Since 1985, a number of Marines have served in joint positions holding four-star rank, and it is no longer uncommon for the Corps to have four or five four-star generals on active duty at the same time.

In 2005, General Peter Pace became the first Marine to be appointed as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chief military advisor to the President of the United States and most senior appointment in the United States armed forces. Previously, in 2001, General Pace was the first Marine officer to be appointed as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VJCS).

The standard tour length for the commandant (CMC) is four years; two years for the assistant commandant (ACMC); for a combatant commander, three years; and a total of four years served in consecutive two-year terms for the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS/VJCS).

David H. BergerKenneth F. McKenzie Jr.Gary L. Thomas (general)Glenn M. WaltersThomas D. WaldhauserRobert NellerJohn M. Paxton, Jr.John F. Kelly (Marine)John R. AllenJoseph F. Dunford, Jr.James F. AmosJames N. MattisJames T. ConwayRobert MagnusJames E. CartwrightMichael W. HageeWilliam L. NylandMichael J. WilliamsCarlton W. Fulford Jr.Peter PaceJames L. JonesTerrence R. DakeCharles E. WilhelmAnthony C. ZinniRichard I. NealCharles C. KrulakJohn J. SheehanRichard D. HearneyWalter E. BoomerJoseph P. HoarCarl E. Mundy Jr.John R. DaileyJoseph J. WentAlfred M. Gray, Jr.Thomas R. MorganGeorge B. CristJohn K. DavisPaul X. KelleyKenneth McLennanRobert H. BarrowSamuel JaskilkaLouis H. Wilson Jr.Earl E. AndersonRobert E. Cushman Jr.Raymond G. DavisKeith B. McCutcheonLewis W. WaltLeonard F. Chapman Jr.Wallace M. Greene Jr.David M. ShoupRandolph M. PateLemuel C. Shepherd Jr.Clifton B. CatesAlexander A. Vandegrift

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Dates of rank are taken, where available, from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps register of active and retired commissioned officers, or from the World Almanac and Book of Facts.
  2. ^ Positions listed are those held by the officer when promoted to general. Dates listed are for the officer's full tenure, which may predate promotion to four-star rank or postdate retirement from active duty.
  3. ^ a b The number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Date of rank" column from the last year in the "Position" column.
  4. ^ a b c Sources of commission are listed in parentheses after the year of commission and include: the Officer Candidates School (OCS); the United States Naval Academy (USNA); Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) at a civilian university; Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university; and ROTC at a senior military college such as the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) or The Citadel (Citadel).
  5. ^ a b The number of years in commission before being promoted to four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Commission" column from the year in the "Date of rank" column.
  6. ^ Notes include years of birth and death; awards of the Medal of Honor, Congressional Gold Medal, Presidential Medal of Freedom, or honors of similar significance; major government appointments; university presidencies or equivalents; familial relationships with other four-star officers or significant government officials such as U.S. Presidents, cabinet secretaries, U.S. Senators, or state governors; and unusual career events such as premature relief or death in office.
  7. ^ Posthumously promoted to general by Act of Congress, Jun 1947, with date of rank 23 Jan 1947.
  8. ^ Reverted to lieutenant general, Jan 1952; retired as general, Jun 1954.
  9. ^ Retired as general, Jan 1956; recalled as general, Mar 1956.
  10. ^ Unable to assume post due to ill health; promoted and placed on retired list as general by Act of Congress, 01 Jul 1971; died 13 Jul 1971.

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

  • United States Marine Corps History Division, Who's Who in Marine Corps History, archived from the original on 2007-02-19, retrieved 2012-11-15
  • United States Marine Corps Manpower & Reserve Affairs, Biographies: General Officers & Senior Executives, archived from the original on 2013-05-12
  • United States Marine Corps Officer Candidates School, History of Officer Candidates School, archived from the original on 2007-02-05
  • U.S. Bureau of Naval Personnel (1950–1959), Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, Washington D.C.: Department of the Navy
  • "Generals' Exodus", TIME Magazine, September 7, 1959
This page was last edited on 17 October 2020, at 15:05
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